Iglesia de Santa Cristina de Lena

Pre-Romanesque church included in 1985 on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

he Chapel of Santa Cristina de Lena, situated on a hill overlooking the River Lena valley, is undoubtedly related to the buildings on Mount Naranco, although it is coarser in terms of ornamentation.

It was built in times of Ramiro I (842-850) or his successor Ordono I (850-866), but definitely after the master builder who created the Ramirense style.

Its structure differs from that of other churches raised by the Asturian Monarchy. It has a single rectangular nave with four small projections, also rectangular in shape, one in the centre of each exterior wall (portico, apse and side rooms).

All the spaces are vaulted with barrel vaulting on transversal ribs and the building is reinforced with numerous buttresses outside.

The nave is divided into five sections, defined by transversal ribs that rest on a blind arcade which runs along the side walls. The apse consists of a protruding body. Its pavement and the last section of the nave are higher and are reached via two side stairs.

This space is separated from the nave by a large iconostasis consisting of three arches on capitals and columns, decorated with rectangular window openings closed off with latticework and a Visigoth chancel.


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